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  1.    06 Sep 2016 #1
    Join Date : Aug 2016
    Posts : 5
    win10

    BitLocker vs VeraCrypt?


    Hello

    As far as I understand BitLocker allows only to encrypt entire disk. I need to encrypt my personal files (financial documents, identifications) in fast reliable and flexible way. I was using TrueCrypt in past and it was very convenient - create folder , put there all relevant files and then encrypt the entire folder. I'm not interested to encrypt a whole drive. I think it is slowing down the computer and also IMO is less secure than specific folder encryption because if computer is left open or I need to let someone to check something in my computer than all files are visible. As far as I know TrueCrypt successor is VeraCrypt but since my upgrade to Windows 10 I haven't tried any encryption software.
    My questions are:
    1.What would be downsides of using VeraCrypt instead of BitLocker in long run?
    2.Is VeraCrypt considered to be good reliable alternative to Windows default BitLocker for professional purposes(like encrypting sensitive business documents) ? Is there any tool more standard ,better to consider?
    Thanks in advance
    Last edited by ata; 06 Sep 2016 at 08:19.
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  2.    06 Sep 2016 #2
    Join Date : Sep 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Posts : 3,143
    Windows 10 Pro

    Windows has 2 different kinds of encryption built-in. It has full-disk encryption, with BitLocker. And it also has folder encryption called EFS (encrypted file system). Just right click on a folder, choose properties, advanced, and then encrypt contents.

    This is "transparent" encryption, which means that by using your user account, the folder is automatically unlocked. Anyone using a different user account won't be able to see them.

    To that effect, you should lock your system when you're not using it, and if you need to let another user use it then create a "guest" account (not the Windows guest account, but your own account for other users). You can even switch to this account without logging out of your account using Fast User Switching, then switch back when they are done.
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  3.    06 Sep 2016 #3
    Join Date : Jan 2014
    Posts : 1,385
    Windows 10 Pro (32-bit) Insider 16291

    What I do is create a Virtual Disk, map it to a new drive letter, set it to auto-mount at startup, and apply Bitlocker to that as a new drive. I then need to type in the Bitlocker password to unlock the drive when the computer starts up.

    Using this approach, once the drive is unlocked, any user on that PC can access it until the computer is shutdown - this may or may not fit with your needs.
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  4.    06 Sep 2016 #4
    Join Date : Feb 2014
    Posts : 487

    What David said. If you used a TrueCrypt Volume to keep your personal files in that you mounted/unmounted on demand, you can do the same with Bitlocker. You create a VHD/VHDX and then use Bitlocker to encrypt that. The TrueCrypt standing page has details on how to to that.

    Go here --> TrueCrypt and scroll down to "If you have a file container encrypted by TrueCrypt", which will give details on how to create a VHD. Then after creating a VHD, use the following tutorial to encrypt it with Bitlocker.

    Bitlocker tutorial here:
    BitLocker - Turn On or Off for Removable Data Drives in Windows 10 - Windows 10 Forums

    To mount it, you double click on the VHD file. Windows 10 has a bug in it though (it has been there for quite a while), which shows two messages when you try to mount the Bitlocker Protected VHD. You can just click OK on the one in the middle and then click the Action Centre notification in the bottom right corner to enter the password.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    To dismount it, go to 'This PC' > Right-Click > Eject

    Click image for larger version. 

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  5.    07 Sep 2016 #5
    Join Date : Sep 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Posts : 3,143
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidY View Post
    What I do is create a Virtual Disk, map it to a new drive letter, set it to auto-mount at startup, and apply Bitlocker to that as a new drive. I then need to type in the Bitlocker password to unlock the drive when the computer starts up.

    Using this approach, once the drive is unlocked, any user on that PC can access it until the computer is shutdown - this may or may not fit with your needs.
    That's a good idea. You do not need to shutdown though to remove it, you can relock or even unmounts the drive at any time.
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  6.    07 Sep 2016 #6
    Join Date : Aug 2016
    Posts : 5
    win10
    Thread Starter

    Thanks everyone for your input. What I need is what ARC1020 and Mystere said and that is what I did with TrueCrypt - mount/unmount on demand only.
    I'm going to try it now with BitLocker.
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  7.    10 Sep 2016 #7
    Join Date : Jun 2014
    Posts : 5,446
    Windows 10 Pro

    Are you going to access your files on a Windows 10 Pro computer only? If I'm not mistaken BitLocker only works with the Pro version of 10. With TrueCrypt or VeraCrypt you can install on a Home or Pro version of Windows 10.
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  8.    10 Sep 2016 #8
    Join Date : Sep 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Posts : 3,143
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by Winuser View Post
    Are you going to access your files on a Windows 10 Pro computer only? If I'm not mistaken BitLocker only works with the Pro version of 10. With TrueCrypt or VeraCrypt you can install on a Home or Pro version of Windows 10.
    Well, TrueCrypt is no longer supported by it's authors, who left with a cryptic message that indicated it was no longer secure, and couldn't be fixed. If VeraCrypt is based on TrueCrypt, i'd have to be skeptical that they've fixed whatever mysterious problem the original team refused to discuss.
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  9.    13 Sep 2016 #9
    Join Date : Aug 2016
    Posts : 5
    win10
    Thread Starter

    After more research and thinking I decided not to use either BitLocker or VeraCrypt. I ended up putting my private documents in folder and just zipped them with password. For fast access and in case I forgot the password I made a cloud for that purpose(not the default OneDrive).

    My conclusions are - Bitlocker is good for organizations to keep they computers secure but not versatile and compact enough for private use and even small businesses. As the poster above said it is limited to Windows Pro version but I might one day need to access my files with Windows 10 Home or even different operating system.

    After some research VeraCrypt went off my list of options. It gets good reviews in magazines(based on what?), but looks like not many people use it , also Mystere mentioned another reason currently to stay away from it. I hope it will succeeded , but for now I won't take any chances.
    Last edited by ata; 13 Sep 2016 at 07:08.
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  10.    13 Sep 2016 #10
    Join Date : Jul 2015
    Posts : 3,655
    10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by ata View Post
    As someone said it is limited to Windows Pro version but I might one day need to access my files with Windows 10 Home or even different operating system.
    That shouldn't really be a concern. You can access bitlocker encrypted drives from Linux or WindowsPE (Marcium gives you this option for example when you make recovery disk) and Windows home will unlock external drives encrypted by Bitlocker to Go.

    windows - How to access a BitLocker-encrypted drive in Linux? - Super User
    Bitlocker in WinPE
    Adding BitLocker support to Windows PE - KnowledgeBase - Macrium Reflect Knowledgebase
    Solved Reading a BitLocker Encrypted USB in Windows 10 Home - Windows 10 Forums
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